(Sam Favate’s article appeared in the Wall Street Journal, 1/17.)

Two years ago, Arizona made headlines with its ban on ethnic studies in the state’s schools, and the Tucson school district in particular was under the spotlight for its Mexican-American Studies Program.

Turns out the ban also includes William Shakespeare’s The Temptest — about a banished duke who seeks revenge through magic.

Arizona’s new law prohibits courses and classes that “promote the overthrow of the United States government, promote resentment toward a race or class of people, are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.”

The Tucson Unified School District will end its 13-year Mexican-American program, after a judge in December found it to be in violation of  the law. The district plans to clear the books from all classrooms, box them up and store them in a depository, Salon reported.

Curtis Acosta, one of the former teachers in the program wrote: “I asked if I could start teaching Shakespeare’s The Tempest and was told no, due to the themes that are present and the likelihood of avoiding discussions of colonization, enslavement, and racism were remote.”

(Read more)


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